Saturday, June 13, 2015


Would The American Red Cross be able to respond quickly and efficiently if a major hurricane were to hit Pennsylvania, spawning four tornadoes and causing widespread flooding and destruction in communities throughout the Commonwealth?

A disaster drill simulating that exact scenario played out in all three Pennsylvania regions of the Red Cross over the past several days. With Harrisburg serving as the command center for the operation, volunteers and staff worked together with people in the community to set up shelters, secure and move supplies, and act quickly to mobilize wherever and whatever was needed.

Disaster scenarios and updates tagged with “EXERCISE***EXERCISE***EXERCISE” arrived via email often, each defining a situation or crisis that was immediately handled by event participants. The motion was fast paced, allowing everyone to have a better feel of exactly what would be expected if an actual disaster of that magnitude were to hit our area. Systems, plans, and people were put to the test in what can only be described as the training experience of a lifetime.